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Album review: Rooms Without Windows - Poncho (EP)

Album review: Rooms Without Windows - Poncho (EP)

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
Five tracks of solid riffs, bold lyrics, and dancey jams; the five-piece indie rock band Rooms Without Windows, really brings a sense of pseudo-80’s, modern Kansas City, alternative rock to your ears with their most recent release, Poncho. With every track comes a different vibe, all under an umbrella that incorporates dreamy instrumentals and smoky vocal work.
The one thing that is consistent with this quintet—and what sets them apart from any other band in their genre—is the vocal work. Elsa Rae lends her voice to the group and it is like a breath of fresh air for the Lawrence and Kansas City scene. It’s airy, it’s sensual, it carries a haunting tone, and it inarguably raises the band to the next level.
Another facet of Rooms Without Windows is that there is only one guitar player on the roster. Many bands in scene strive for a layered guitar sound, but not Rooms Without Windows. They pass on the second guitar and instead add keys. The keys add ethereal and spacey tones that deepen the songs without over-stimulating the brain. The keys create an easy-to-digest, still complex song.
Rooms Without Windows comes in and hits the listener hard with “More for Me.” Guitars call and the band responds at the introduction to this song. Jaunty drums chime in and drive the song into a realm of jangly guitars and atmospheric music. “Get On The Ground” offers up some of those pseudo-‘80s tunes I mentioned earlier; something you can’t really help but tap your finger to and wiggle to in your seat. “LSDiety” brings the clean bass riffs to the front row by constructing not just a song, but a dream sequence.
Each song from the Poncho EP hides a different treasure. Be it hidden in the lyrics, the instrumentals, the metaphor, and so on. Rooms Without Windows is definitely carving its own way in the local scene. With fresh sounds and outrageous uniqueness, the quintet is sure to evolve and grow in an exciting capacity.
--Steven Ervay

Steven is an all-around awesome dude who works tirelessly for the KC music community.

Join Rooms Without Windows and a host of other KC/Lawrence bands at Lawrence Field Day Fest, tomorrow, June 27, at Jackpot Music Hall, 11 pm. The festival begins tonight (free!) and runs through Saturday. Tickets are $12 for Friday and Saturday. Facebook event page.

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